What 80% Healthy and 20% Not so Healthy looks like


Photo Credit:  freedigitalphotos.net

I have a secret!

I am in LOVE with Salt and Vinegar potato chips!  I know!!  I know!!!  I am the ‘health’ guru who is constantly talking about how bad processed foods are for you.  It’s my sister’s fault.
No, really …. it is!

How can I eat these horribly processed chips?

Because I live my life according to the the 80/20 rule!

But what is that Debi?

Well, before I explain that let me go back.  You can take anything and make it excessive.  Exercise, shopping, eating.  It’s very easy to become over the top and obsessed!  Once I was finding out what was REALLY in my food I was avoiding ANYTHING with natural flavors or additives and GMOs.

Unfortunately, we cannot COMPETELY avoid them in the year 2013 and the world we live in.  They are EVERYWHERE!  So to even try would leave us with very little choices.

And that’s not living!

The whole point of this website is to make you all AWARE of what’s in our foods and how money hungry the CEOs of these food companies really are.  By CUTTING BACK on these pre packaged foods we are then able to make  REAL WHOLE ORGANIC food the majority of our diet.

By the way, as a side note, I published a post yesterday that the NRDC is allocating $100 MILLION dollars a year to find out what’s going on with the additives in our food!!  You can read that here.   Expect some big news to be coming from them and what they’re finding!!  I am on the edge of my seat excited !!!!!

So what does 80/20 look like?

Think about this …. we have to decide what to eat how many times a day?  3?  4?  sometimes more?  So if we have to make that decision 4 times a day that’s 28 times in a week!!!

In those 28 times I am choosing 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners, right?   So it would look something like this:

  • Breakfast – I eat eggs with whole wheat toast for breakfast, sometimes yogurt with granola, sometimes a green smoothie.
  • Lunch -is usually a salad or leftovers from the night before (we’re BIG on leftovers in our house) or soup (another biggie).  These are non thinking easy lunches for me.
  • Dinner -is usually a meat, starch and a veggie, but again WHOLE REAL foods.

I am careful to choose wild seafood, organic dairy, locally raised meat, lots of fruits and veggies.  I take my time is choosing these products for me and my family because I know they don’t have pesticides, residues, etc on them and they are healthier choices.

So ….. to break it down even further:

  • 3 meals a day  ~ 21 meals in a week so 80/20 = 17 healthy 4 not so healthy
  • 4 meals a day ~ 28 meals in a week, so 80/20 = 22 healthy 6 not so healthy
  • 1500 calories a day ~ 80/20 = 1200 healthy 300 not so healthy
  • 1600 calories a day ~ 80/20 = 1280 healthy calories and  320 not so healthy

You’re waiting for the 20% part aren’t you?

The 20% comes in throughout the day.  But remember 20% isn’t a whole lot, now is it?  Consider if you’re eating around 1500 calories a day that’s only 300 calories to play with.

If you look at the 4 meals a day it equates to 6 not so healthy choices a week, right?  So that means basically you can have a not so healthy choice once a day, give or take.

The 20% for me could be a slice of bread the waiter brings when we eat out, 2 of the homemade cookies I made, or a scoop of ice cream.  NOT CHOOSING THE LARGE FRIES WITH a salad when you go to McD’s!!!  See the difference??

See the thing is once you are eating meals with real foods and not processed ones your body takes longer to burn it.  You stay full longer.  And then snacking (believe it or not) soon becomes a thing of the past.

The 80/20 Rule allows you to:

Live without obsessing – Have a friends engagement party coming up?  A social event for work?  The girls want to go out for Happy Hour?  You can’t live obsessing about these things without your stress level going through the roof!   Again, choose 80% real foods and a little dessert and you’ll feel a part of the night and not be worrying about what your can and cannot have.

Not be perfect – I don’t know about you but when I’m ‘on a diet’ or ‘really focused’ about what I’m eating and get on this ban wagon to ONLY eat certain foods I end up failing.  And failing is never good.  It’s not a good feeling for anyone.  Failing leads to binging on boxes of ding dongs and watching girly movies and that’s not what we want.

Enjoy food again – best of all (for me anyway) is I REALLY enjoy eating now.  I don’t count one calorie – EVER!  I eat until I am full and enjoy every last bite.

BOTOM LINE:  If you eat healthy and make good choices 80% of the time then having a cupcake at a birthday party isn’t going to end the world.  Enjoying dessert out with your hubby won’t either.  But you have to keep it in perspective. 

Life isn’t about restrictions.  Restrictions only hold you back.  Enjoy the food you eat, LOVE the food you eat.  

What are your thoughts about the 80/20 Rule?

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